Jamestown Canyon Virus (California Serogroup) is the Etiologic Agent of Widespread Infection in Michigan Humans

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  • * Laboratory for Arbovirus Research and Surveillance, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556
  • | ** Arbovirus Reference Branch, Division of Vector-Borne Viral Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Fort Collins, Colorado 80522
  • | Virology Section, Division of Laboratories, Illinois Department of Public Health, Chicago, Illinois 60612
  • | Laboratory and Epidemiological Services Bureau, Michigan Department of Public Health, Lansing, Michigan 48909

In a sample population of 780 Michigan residents tested for neutralizing antibodies to California serogroup viruses, 216 (27.7%) had specific neutralizing antibody to Jamestown Canyon virus. An additional eight (1.0%) had specific neutralizing antibody to trivittatus virus; none had specific neutralizing antibody to La Crosse virus. Significantly more male residents than female residents of the Lower Peninsula had antibody to Jamestown Canyon virus. The frequency of neutralizing antibody titers fits the Poisson distribution, suggesting that Jamestown Canyon virus infections occur endemically in residents of Michigan. Among 128 sera with specific neutralizing antibody to Jamestown Canyon virus, only two (1.6%) were found to have significant hemagglutination-inhibiting antibody titers with La Crosse virus, while 23 of 44 (52%) had significant titers with Jamestown Canyon virus; a single serum had significant antibody by complement fixation tests with both La Crosse and Jamestown Canyon viruses. This study confirms earlier speculation that complement fixation and hemagglutination-inhibition tests with La Crosse virus (the only tests for California serogroup virus infections performed by most state diagnostic laboratories) fail to detect antibody to Jamestown Canyon virus. ASPEX computer-drawn maps demonstrated that the distribution of persons with antibody to Jamestown Canyon virus and residing in Michigan's Lower Peninsula is closely correlated with the estimated distribution of white-tailed deer in that part of the state, further supporting the hypothesis that white-tailed deer are the primary vertebrate host for Jamestown Canyon virus.